Breakingviews

Yoox glee at Net-a-Porter exit may wear thin

September 3, 2015

Shares in the upmarket online retailer popped 5 pct as Net’s founder cashed out of the merger agreed in March. Terms of the severance deal with Natalie Massenet confirm that Yoox bought its rival at a bargain price. But it is losing know-how at an important time.

LVMH’s bite out of Apple is digital coming-of-age

September 2, 2015

The French luxury group has poached a top Apple music executive to head its online operations. It’s a significant move in a sector that has been wary of the net. It also cranks up the heat on the sector’s e-commerce leader Burberry and recently merged Yoox/Net-a-Porter.

Luxury faces tough quest for next big market

August 27, 2015

China’s slowdown and weaker currency have hit share prices of bauble-peddlers LVMH and Swatch. The hunt is on for luxury’s next hotspot. India and Brazil show promise, but a mix of scale, rising incomes and inequality is elusive. Better opportunities may be closer to home.

Review: China fails to live up to luxury hype

April 10, 2015

After a decade of red-hot growth, prospects have dimmed in luxury’s star market and given pause to high-end brands. With vigor returning to traditional hubs like the United States, a prediction that Chinese shoppers are establishing a Bling Dynasty looks premature at best.

Hermes shares look too glossy

By Pierre Briancon
March 25, 2015

The French group weathered luxury market headwinds well in 2014 and will pay a 530 mln euro special dividend. Rivals Kering and LVMH were hit harder but are recovering. That makes the silk tie-maker’s luxury valuation of 32 times forward earnings more difficult to justify.

Clock ticks for Swatch in Apple Watch challenge

March 17, 2015

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek is sanguine about the tech giant’s attempt to disrupt time. Yet he faces tricky options: lock horns with Tim Cook in a smartwatch war, or move upmarket where Apple will struggle to compete on craftsmanship. Swatch doesn’t look primed for either.

Coach tries LVMH model on for size with shoe buy

By Stephanie Rogan
January 6, 2015

The U.S. leather-goods purveyor is paying $574 mln for Stuart Weitzman, the first acquisition since its 1941 founding. While this looks like an admission its core brand has maxed out, Coach is betting it can use its know-how to expand other marques like LVMH and Kering have.

LVMH, Hermes in five-year handbag peace

September 3, 2014

The French luxury leader will distribute to its shareholders the stake it stealthily built up in the Birkin bags maker. The founding family remains in control of Hermes. But Groupe Arnault will retain 8.5 pct of its capital, suggesting it is keeping its long-term options open.

Versace’s valuation is as full-on as its outfits

December 3, 2013

The Italian fashion house is sizing up outside investors and reckons it can triple in value in 3 years. There is real potential, because Versace is so far behind industry trends. But a big price tag for a skimpy stake alongside a powerful family? That’s a hard look to pull off.